Skip to main content

The Herbert Newby McCoy Award

The most prestigious award given by the university in natural sciences

Herbert Newby McCoy

The Herbert Newby McCoy Award was established in 1964 by Mrs. Ethel Terry McCoy in honor of her husband, a distinguished Purdue alumnus. A native of Indiana, Herbert Newby McCoy studied chemistry at Purdue University where he received a B.S. degree in 1892 and a M.S. degree in 1893. His Ph.D. was earned at the University of Chicago in 1898. McCoy spent the early part of his career, teaching at North Dakota State University, the University of Utah, and the University of Chicago. During the latter part of his career, he was president of Carnotite Reduction Company in Chicago and vice president of Lindsay Light and Chemical Company, also in Chicago. He died in 1945 in Los Angeles, California.

Through the generosity of Mrs. Ethel Terry McCoy, a Trust Fund was given to the Trustees of Purdue University to establish an annual award to a student or faculty member on the West Lafayette campus making the greatest contribution to the natural sciences.

The Award

The Herbert Newby McCoy Award consists of a monetary prize of $4,000 plus an additional contribution of $7,000 to support the research of the recipient.

2021 Nominations

Nominations are currently being accepted through March 10, 2021

Call for 2021 nominations can be found here: 2021 Awards Announcement


Any student or faculty member who has made a recent major impact in the natural sciences is eligible for the award, regardless of college/school or departmental affiliation. The McCoy Award is intended to honor a recent past achievement(s) of major scientific impact; the award is not a “lifetime achievement” award.

Recipients are restricted to students or members of the faculty on the West Lafayette campus.

Investigators are eligible to receive only one of the university-wide research awards during their career - the Lu Ann Aday Award, the Arden L. Bement Jr. Award, or the Herbert Newby McCoy Award.

Nomination Instructions

For questions or additional information, contact Shelley Burton at Nomination packets should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to Shelley Burton ( The nomination packet should include in the following order:

  1. A concise summary statement, not more than two pages in length, that describes the impact and significance of the nominee’s recent work justifying nomination for the McCoy Award.
  2. The nominee's curriculum vitae.
  3. Up to five external letters supporting the impact and significance of the nominee’s contribution to science. Letters supporting previous nominations for the award may be submitted if they were written within the preceding two years.
  4. A brief statement of the letter writers' expertise, distinctions, and relationship, if any, to the nominee.
  5. Any additional supporting information that the nominator considers to be significant.

Review Process

A selection committee consisting of distinguished faculty including past award winners is appointed by the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships.

To help the selection committee appreciate the impact and significance of the nominee’s work, nominators (or their representatives) will be invited to make a brief presentation and answer questions during the selection committee meeting. This presentation carries substantial weight in the selection process as it allows committee members to more fully understand the impact of the work.

The committee's final recommendation is submitted to the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships for approval.

Award Announcement

The recipient of the Herbert Newby McCoy Award is notified by the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2021 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships at